What is the Best Riding Lawn Mower Under $2000? (2024)

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Riding mowers and lawn tractors are great cutting tools if you want to carry out proper maintenance on a large lawn. However, you should know that these machines aren’t that cheap. In fact, the best riding lawn mowers under $2000 simply don’t exist. 

So, because of this, I picked and tested lawn care selections near this budget range without the risk of breaking the bank.

Premium Option
Troy-Bilt Pony 42X Lawn Tractor
Editor’s Choice
Craftsman T150 Riding Lawn Mower
Budget Option
Snapper 2911525BVE Riding Mower
Troy-Bilt Pony 42X Lawn Tractor
Craftsman T150 Riding Lawn Mower
Snapper 2911525BVE Riding Mower
• Anti-scalp wheels
• Cutting Deck: 42 inches
• Steel Front Axle
• Motor Power: 18 HP
• Turning Radius: 18 inches
• 19 HP Briggs & Stratton Engine
• Hydrostatic Transmission
• Mow-In-Reverse Feature
• 20-inch Rear Wheels
• Integrated Deck Wash System
• Type: Rear Engine Mower
• Cutting Deck Width: 28 inches
• Briggs & Stratton Intek Engine
• Fuel Tank Capacity: 1.35 Gallons
• HI VAC Mower Deck
Premium Option
Troy-Bilt Pony 42X Lawn Tractor
Troy-Bilt Pony 42X Lawn Tractor
• Anti-scalp wheels
• Cutting Deck: 42 inches
• Steel Front Axle
• Motor Power: 18 HP
• Turning Radius: 18 inches
Editor’s Choice
Craftsman T150 Riding Lawn Mower
Craftsman T150 Riding Lawn Mower
• 19 HP Briggs & Stratton Engine
• Hydrostatic Transmission
• Mow-In-Reverse Feature
• 20-inch Rear Wheels
• Integrated Deck Wash System
Budget Option
Snapper 2911525BVE Riding Mower
Snapper 2911525BVE Riding Mower
• Type: Rear Engine Mower
• Cutting Deck Width: 28 inches
• Briggs & Stratton Intek Engine
• Fuel Tank Capacity: 1.35 Gallons
• HI VAC Mower Deck

Reviews of the Top Riding Lawn Mowers Under $2000

1. Craftsman T150 Riding Lawn Mower

Craftsman T150

Navigating uneven terrain feels like a walk in the park with the Craftsman T150 riding mower, all thanks to its beefy 19 HP Briggs & Stratton engine. I found the hydrostatic transmission pretty impressive, giving it a balanced power-to-weight ratio.

Unlike other gas-powered riding mowers, its powerful engine starts smoothly and easily thanks to its self-propel system. Moreover, the 2-gallon fuel tank is a huge plus; you won’t be stopping mid-mow to refuel.

With its compact steel deck, this riding lawnmower surprises me by effortlessly managing up to 25 lbs of grass during use.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

2. 9POINT9 Zero-turn Mower

The 9POINT9 Zero-Turn Mower might not be a household name, but I was pleasantly surprised by its performance. Its 4-stroke engine and self-propelled system handle various cutting tasks like a pro. Though it looks compact, it outperforms a regular push mower when it comes to speed and efficiency over a large area.

And given its small construction, it won’t take up much space in the storage. This space-saving design also makes cleaning it much simpler than most gas-powered mowers I’ve dealt with.

Since it has a zero-degree turning radius, it’s super easy to maneuver around a vast lawn. 

What I Like

What I Don't Like

3. Troy-Bilt TB46 Riding Mower

Troy-Bilt TB46

When it comes to comfort, Troy-Bilt TB46’s mid-back seat and soft-touch grip are features that give it an edge. And this machine is powered with a 19 HP Briggs & Stratton motor engine, so it never felt strained, even during some heavy-duty mowing.

The automatic transmission engages effortlessly with just a step on the foot pedal, leaving my hands free to make those fine-tuning adjustments to the deck height. Speaking of which, this deck can be set in five positions, giving me the flexibility to get the exact cut that I want for my lawn.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

4. Husqvarna YTH24V48 Riding Lawn Mower

Husqvarna YTH24V48

With a hydrostatic engine that operates at 24 HP, no one can deny that YTH24V48 is a great Husqvarna mower to have around the backyard. This massive power allows the unit to cover mowing operations at 6 miles per hour. 

What I also appreciate is the twin-blade system, which consistently delivers an even cut across the lawn. If you’re unfamiliar with using ride-on mowing tools, you don’t need to worry because it’s a self-propelled wheel drive. Honestly, it’s like it practically drives itself, making the whole experience pretty straightforward.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

5. Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Compact Riding Mower

Another compact but powerful option you can consider is Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro. Despite its smaller size, this model has an excellent power-to-weight ratio that can easily eliminate tall grasses. 

Adjusting the mowing height up to three inches is no sweat, so I never have to stress about the condition of my lawn; this machine adapts to it.

What made a real difference for me, especially on uneven ground, was its four-wheel drive. Combined with its Kohler hydrostatic ride-on system, the mower was smooth to operate and easy to maneuver. It’s like the machine just knows how to make mowing a more pleasant task.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

6. Snapper 2911525BVE Riding Mower

Riding lawn mowers need not be massive because smaller models like Snapper 2911525BVE include enough features to cover rough terrain. As a rear-engine lawn mower, you can rest easy it won’t get stuck or miss a spot in the lawn. 

(Check this review of the top-rated rear-engine riding mowers for more quality options!)

If you’re new to mowers, you’ll appreciate its electric starting system over a manual power take-off. It’s really user-friendly, making it easy to get the engine up and running, no matter your experience level.

It also features an adjustable steering wheel handle that allowed me to effortlessly change the deck’s position. Thanks to this, I got around trees and obstacles a whole lot easier.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

7. Troy-Bilt Pony 42X Lawn Tractor

Troy-Bilt Pony 42X Lawn Tractor

If you’re willing to spend just a little more, you can get high-quality riding mowers in the form of Troy-Bilt Pony 42X.  It may have a smaller cutting deck of 42 inches, but this Troy-Bilt mower runs with anti-scalp tires that lower the chances of lawn turf damage. 

While it’s not the best riding lawn mower under $2000, it’s a great option if you want a unit with a built-in deck wash system. 

Compared to some residential lawn mowers, this Troy-Bilt riding mower offers more power with its 24 HP OHV motor. Plus, it comes with a generous 3-gallon fuel tank, so it’s well-suited for those longer mowing sessions.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

Riding Lawn Mower Under $2000 Buyer’s Guide

Riding Mower Types

Zero-turn

Unlike other mower types, zero-turns have speed and maneuverability right inside their pockets. It offers the ability to make zero-degree turns, has a wide cutting deck, and is ideal for large, open areas where quick and precise mowing is required. But its learning curve is quite steep. I wouldn’t recommend diving into one of these if you’re just getting your feet wet in the world of lawn mowing.

Front-engine

Mowers with front-mounted engines are often designed with bigger cutting decks. These models can range from 36 to 54 inches. And with bigger deck sizes, it’s like having a snowplow in winter but for your lawn.

Rear-engine

In contrast, rear-engine lawnmowers are equipped with smaller decks, around 28 to 34 inches.Don’t let their small size fool you; they get the job done, especially if your lawn is around 1 acre or so.

Also Read: The Best Riding Lawn Mower for 1-Acre Lawns

Transmission

If your lawn has an open structure, going for models with manual transmission is not a problem. You’ll have no obstacles to ride over, so manually changing gears should do the job just fine. On top of that, these mowers cost less. 

mowing lawn with Troy-Bilt Pony 42X Lawn Tractor

The only problem is these lawnmower types can’t get into tight corners and narrow spaces. And if you need a mowing tool that you can set in different directions, that’s where models with auto transmission come in. 

Horsepower and Engine Size

Look, I get it; you want the lawnmower equivalent of a sports car. Who wouldn’t want a machine with as much horsepower as possible? But here’s the deal: more isn’t always better. Matching your mower’s engine size to the actual size of your lawn is the key to an efficient cut.

If you have a sprawling estate or you’re lugging around heavy attachments, by all means, go for the engine with a higher horsepower. You’ll need that extra oomph. On the other hand, if your yard is on the smaller side, save yourself some money and storage space by going for a less powerful engine.

Size of the Cutting Deck

Regarding the cutting deck specifications, remember that wider construction means faster mowing time. In other words, lawnmowers with wider decks can cover more area in a short time.

cutting deck of Snapper 2911525BVE

Mower Cutting Width

The right width specifications depend on how vast the area you’ll be cutting. Should you need a ride-on lawn mower for 2 acres of land, units with 46-inch decks should deliver well. Meanwhile, mowers around 24 inches are enough for 1 acre of land.  

Blade Replacements

Besides mowing, these tools can also do mulching. To do this, you’ll have to check if the unit has blade replacements for these tasks. 

Comfort and Maneuverability

Based on experts, the feature that would make your lawnmower maneuverable is reliable cruise control [1]. Let me tell you, I’ve had my fair share of hours spent on a lawnmower seat, and comfort is not a luxury—it’s a necessity. You’d be surprised how much more enjoyable mowing becomes when your seat is comfortable and you have reliable cruise control.

And don’t underestimate leg space. I learned this the hard way. If you’re going to be mowing for an extended period, cramped legs can turn what should be a straightforward task into an exercise in discomfort.

Attachments

After the mowing season, you can still use your lawnmower, provided that you have the right attachment. As previously mentioned, these tools can do mulching and plowing.

Craftsman T150 close up view

Should You Get an Affordable or Expensive Riding Lawn Mower?

Like it or not, ride-on lawnmowers aren’t cheap. Because of this, you must allocate enough budget to invest in it. However, it doesn’t mean that higher price tags automatically equate with better performance. 

The trick is to find a mower that fits your specific needs. If you have a smaller lawn, you might not need a machine that’s built to mow a golf course. Conversely, if you’re dealing with a large property, skimping on horsepower or deck size will make the job harder and take longer.

Riding Mower Safety Tips

How To Keep Your Riding Mower Well-Maintained

FAQ

How much horsepower do I need for my riding lawn mower?

Your ride-on mower should have a horsepower of not less than 15. The larger the lawn your tool had to cover, the higher this specification should be. 

Is it possible to put a larger seat on my riding mower?

As long as the new seat is appropriately fastened, you’ll have no problem getting larger ones for your lawnmower. 

Is a bigger riding mower better?

No, bigger riding mowers aren’t always better for your lawn. Ultimately, it depends on the lawn condition you’ll be using them on. Riding a bigger mower can be challenging if your property requires frequent direction changes and obstacles. 

My Top Pick For a Riding Lawn Mower Under $2000:
Craftsman T150 Riding Lawn Mower

Craftsman T150

After extensive testing, I’ve determined that the Craftsman T150 is the best riding lawn mower under $2000. While it might not be the cheapest option out there, trust me, the features you get make it a worthwhile investment.

What impresses me most about this compact machine is its smooth hydrostatic transmission and excellent power-to-weight ratio. These features alone can really take your mowing game to the next level.

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Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

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